Redmi 4 Review: A Good Smartphone at an Affordable Price

Xiaomi is an international smartphone maker that has always tried to provide cost effective devices, using less-expensive components. In July 2013, Xiaomi launched a budget smartphone line, Redmi, that used the company’s MIUI operating system, based on Android. The phones from this line can be easily distinguished due to their small screen size, which is usually 5 inches, as compared to the Redmi Note series with larger screen size.

The company entered India after the government initiated the “Make in India” campaign. Xiaomi set up a manufacturing unit in Bangalore. In the sub 10k category, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer launched Redmi 4, the successor of the highly successful Redmi 3s Prime, in the Indian markets, in November 2016.

Here are my thoughts on the Redmi 4 and whether it is worth buying.

Specifications

Xiaomi Redmi 4 is a dual SIM (GSM and GSM) smartphone that accepts Nano-SIM and Micro-SIM. The phone features a 5-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 720 X 1280 pixels at 296 PPI (pixels per inch). The handset weighs 150 gm and measures 139.30 x 69.90 x 8.65 mm.

The Redmi 4 is powered by a 1.4GHz Snapdragon 435 octa-core processor, paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 128GB via a microSD card. The device runs on Android 6.0.1 and is powered by a 4100mAh non-removable battery.

The cameras on this device include a 5MP front camera for selfies and 13MP primary camera on the rear. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, Infrared, USB OTG, FM, 3G and 4G, while sensors include a proximity sensor, accelerometer, compass/magnetometer, ambient light sensor and gyroscope.

Related: Redmi 5 Review

Technical Features

Display Size: 5-inch touchscreen

Screen Resolution: 720 X 1280 pixels

Processor: 1.4GHz octa-core processor

RAM: 3GB

Battery: 4100mAh

Front Camera: 5MP

Back Camera: 13MP

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Redmi 4 Display and Looks

The Redmi 4 launched in India has a different design from the Chinese version of the smartphone. The Indian model looks very similar to the Redmi 4X. The Chinese smartphone maker has basically renamed Redmi 4X as Redmi 4 for the Indian market.

At first glance, the device looks like the Redmi Note 4. However, there are many differences that you will discover on closer inspection. The Redmi 4 is available in two colour variants, Gold and Matte Black. I liked both colours.  I also liked the beautiful metal frame in which the Redmi 4 is encased. According to Xiaomi, the body is made of anodized aluminum and the back enclosure has undergone a diamond cutting process to give the smartphone two bright sparkling strips. The phone does have a fingerprint sensor, which is quite a relief.

The Redmi 4 comes with a 5-inch IPS LCD HD (720p) display and 294 PPI pixel density, which is good. However, I didn’t like that the use of an unspecified display glass to protect the 2.5D curved glass. What I also didn’t like was that the phone has a 720P display and lacks Full HD. In fact, Xiaomi’s previous launch, the Redmi 3s, had a full HD display. The company said the display was downgraded to 720P to increase battery life.

Another disappointment is the Hybrid SIM slot, which can be a major reason why people would prefer a different phone in the same price range.

Redmi 4 Performance and Battery

The Redmi 4 is powered by a Snapdragon 435 octa-core processor, clocked at 1.4GHz, paired with an Adreno 505 GPU. These are good specifications at its price. However, using a 2016 processor in a 2018 device doesn’t seem like a wise choice.

The smartphone is available in different RAM variants. For moderate users, who want to use their smartphone for social media, moderate gaming and web browsing, the variant with a 3GB RAM will suffice.

Talking of the software, Xiaomi Redmi 4 comes with MIUI 8, based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which is again a turn off, since most smartphones are now based on Android 7 Nougat.

To make up for the loss in terms of the processor and software, Xiaomi has tried to entice the audience by using a huge 4100 mAh battery in the Redmi 4 that can last for nearly two days on moderate use. However, the phone doesn’t support fast charging. It can nearly take 3 hours for the device to get fully charged.

Redmi 4 doesn’t have a USB Type C port, which is a part of almost every smartphone available today. Instead, Redmi 4 features a Micro USB port.

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Camera and Apps

On the rear, the Redmi 4 features a 13MP camera with an LED flash. On the front, there is a 5MP camera, supported by PDAF (Phase Detection Autofocus).

The picture quality of the rear camera is good in daylight. The Chinese electronics major has taken a huge leap from its Redmi 3s Prime’s camera performance in low light. The pictures were actually good in the Redmi 4. Although the images lacked detail to some degree, they were well lit for a budget phone.

Even the 5MP front camera offers some pretty impressive selfies, but only under good lightning conditions. In low or dim light, the images looked a bit grainy.

Redmi 4 Price

Despite all the things that might turn you off, the price of the Xiaomi Redmi 4 is definitely attractive. The device was launched in 3 variants:

  1. 2GB + 16GB: ?6,999
  2. 3GB + 32GB: ?8,999
  3. 4GB + 64GB: ?10,999

Reasons Why I Like This Phone

  1. Impressive camera performance
  2. Good battery Life
  3. Good design

Reasons Why I Hate This Phone

  1. Android Marshmallow
  2. Hybrid SIM slot
  3. Lack of HD display

Redmi 4 might have many flaws, but there are no second thoughts that the kind of package the device offers at its price point is hard to find. Someone looking for a smartphone on a tight budget would definitely benefit from the Redmi 4.

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